Heavens to Betsy, I seem to have missed doing one of these last month. Ah well. Not much to get excited about, anyway. But January, now that’s the month. They always put the good stuff in at the start of the year, right? RIGHT?
Christ, I get demoralised sometimes.
The new decade gets kicked off right with a shitty-ass vampire movie starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, Daybreakers. Apparently, in the future, they win and normal humans are kept as farming stock, or something. The trailer makes it look like Underworld with Twilight‘s makeup.
Deedle-dee, moving along… Michael Cera has another starring vehicle called Youth in Revolt, triggering my stock bitching about how once I used to like him and now I really really don’t, and the foul Anand Tucker directs Amy Adams in a stunningly routine-seeming romantic comedy, Leap Year. Oh, and Tim Allen makes his directorial debut with Crazy on the Outside, about an ex-con and the wackiness that happens with his family. Don’t see any cause for alarm with that one.
I am such a fucking pushover for post-apocalypse movies that it’s frankly embarrassing even to bring it up. So the fact that I can look at the trailer for The Book of Eli, in which Denzel Washington ferries a bible across a nuked-out America, and think to myself, “Well, that’s going to be bad”, that’s when you know a film has troubles. Probably has something to do with the Hughes brothers, directing for the first time since the reprehensible From Hell.
Elsewhere, Jackie Chan plays The Spy Next Door in a family movie variant on his real movies.
Crazily enough, this is the second weekend in a row to pit a religion-themed end-of-the-world movie against a family comedy starring a sometime action star. The former is Legion, with Paul Bettany as an angel who comes to Earth to save humanity when God decides to kill us all, and the trailer is so gleefully trashy that I have some dim hope for this being so bad it’s good. The latter is Tooth Fairy, with Dwayne Johnson as a tooth fairy, in a plot that appears to be modeled after The Santa Clause.
Randomly, the third major release of the weekend is Extraordinary Measures, a true story about parents trying to cure their children’s rare disease. Doesn’t it feel like this should have at least been given the shallow courtesy of an awards-season release? I mean, if it were any good at all?
Poor bastard Mel Gibson. He used to be a proper movie star, and now he’s shunted to January. I guess that’s what you get for being a racist, sexist, homophobic psychopath. Anyhow, Edge of Darkness – boy, what a compelling, original, and descriptive title – finds him uncovering a conspiracy, under the direction of Martin Campbell, and that last detail almost gives me a glimmer of hope; he’s directed both of the Bond movies in the last 20 years that were good.
The only other release stars Kristen Bell, poor bastard Kristen Bell, in When in Rome, a romantic fantasy comedy that looks to be the blandest, most innocent, dullest chunk of empty calories of the first quarter of the year. Maybe longer. Though since it is directed by Mark Steven Johnson, of both Daredevil and Ghost Rider, I think bland and dull might be an indefensibly optimistic read of the situation.
Say whatever else one might about January, at least it doesn’t take long to write up!